Life was so simple when the most desirable kitchen was a sleek white room with stainless steel appliances and colour was reserved for the rest of the home. Now you can be proud of your kitchen colour – and quite rightly so!
As a retail designer, when designing large department stores, I was always taught to use colour to tap into the mind set of the shopper and what they associated various colour with. The fresh food dept, would use apple green colour for its walls or signage, the toy department – red, health and beauty- aqua colour and so on.
This use of colour as an integral part of an environment, I thought was great, I also think and a similar approach should be used for your own environment.
The kitchen/dining room, we all know is the ‘flagship area’ of your home and colour is a great way of communicating your personality and style – the same way as those shops I design communicate their products and brand personality.
Colour has always been vital in creating a distinctive, memorable style. I read the other day that Max Factor decorated three rooms for a photoshoot to work with the hair and eye colour of of the models, Pale blue for blondes, pink for brunettes, and green for auburn! Worth bearing in mind.
Here are my seven thoughts on how you can add colour to your kitchen for the coming year – in the overall design and seven thoughts to add colour with your kitchen accessories.
The Kitchen Environment…
Dark and luxurious look at juxtaposing shiny stainless steel with blacks greys and chocolate browns, use gloss paints, mirrors and dark shiny vinyl flooring.
Go natural and neutral, look at materials like concrete, stone slabs, corks, plywoods or chipboard, just seal and leave the natural feel to dominate supplement or juxtapose with your own scheme
Make window frames a feature by painting them in a bright zesty colour.
Function and fun – colour glass splashbacks give a modern, reflective approach to areas that were always tiled in the past.
Don’t think of ‘feature walls ‘- the concept of having one coloured / wallpapered wall is a bit tired now, and usually looks contrived. It’s best the think colour blocks for the whole space.
Try painting the ceiling a slightly darker colour than the walls, try gloss on low ceilings to create illusion of more space -it changes the feel of the whole room – you could be surprised.
Make a floor feature with a colourful rug – kitchen now integrate soft furnishings as they are really becoming a living space.
The Kitchenware and Accessories
Get inspired by your theme! A designer friend is totally inspired by all things Russian – red is the lead colour in her kitchen from Russian dolls to a red and chrome soda syphon. All things slavic inspire her from jewel encrusted, onion domed opulence of the Czars to peasant patterns and geometric floral shapes.
Look beyond stainless steel – the finish of the moment is copper, from panels to sinks to accessories – it also works well with the steel finish.
Paint walls in plain colours dark greys and putty colours, then offset with brightly coloured accessories; pink, yellow or orange pots pans or storage pots and create a complementary zing.
Accessories let you introduce different colours into your servery and tablewear kit throughout the year. This summer our kitchen goes pale lush green with bamboo and natural materials as we introduce new table runners, servers and bowls, napkins, glasses and everything that moves that can have a colour!
Create unexpected colour accent points and splashes of colour – now you can really think laterally as everything can be bought in a wide spectrum of colour; lampshades, blinds, clocks, bins and storage jars.
Fridges, freezers, cookers and washing machines are now colour statements in themselves- you can even buy an large frige freezer emblazoned with your national flag!
Finally and very importantly – wall art. Kitchen now, more than ever, sport interesting original art and bric a brac on the walls -no matter how small! Look at artists like Mark Rothco for pure expressionist colour.
Experiment! Life is too short to have a boring beige approach, mess around with colour splashes, accessories,tiles and textiles develop your colour sense keep a colour scrapbook with holiday photos, fabrics, postcards and anything you see you like for constant inspiration.